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Level: Intermediate
Length: 64 mi (103 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Network
Elevation: +424/ -398 ft
Total: 200 riders

Mountain Biking Galbraith Mountain

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#1 of 1,207 mountain bike trails in Washington
#49 in the world

Galbraith Mt. is located In Bellingham, WA. between Lakeway Dr. to the north, Yew St. to the west and Samish Dr. on the south. The most distinguishing feature on the mountain is a tall stand of trees at the top that was left untouched after the most recent logging. The trails up at the top can be accessed either from Whatcom Falls park on the north or Galbraith Lane on the south side. This area is full of single track, double track and dirt roads. It would take many trips to explore them all. Elevation gain is about 800'. An excellent resource is Galbraithmtn.com which has some very good maps, photos and route descriptions.

First added by mtnmojo on Sep 18, 2004. Last updated May 11, 2020. → add an update
Before you go
  • Drinking water: unknown
  • Lift service: unknown
  • Night riding: unknown
  • Pump track: unknown
  • Restrooms: unknown
  • Fat bike grooming: unknown
  • E-bikes allowed: unknown
  • Fee required: unknown
This trail information is user-generated. Help improve this information by suggesting a correction.
Getting there
I-5 to Bellingham. East on lakeway Drive to Whatcom Falls park.
System trails (82)
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Galbraith Mountain Trail map

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Local Info

Club Sponsor

Local Bike Shop

Trail checkins

Nicole Zickler (on Oct 14, 2019)
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Upcoming Events

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Trail conditions

Dry (on Jun 30, 2020)
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Camping & Lodging

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Galbraith Mountain videos

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Introducing "Blue Steel"
Galbraith Mtn
100 Yards of Galbraith
Galbraith 10-10-10
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Mountain Bike Trails Near Bellingham, Washington

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Rider questions

Q: Traveling to Snohomish in June, might make the drive up to Bellingham to check this out. Any suggestions for bike-rentals nearby?

Q: Bathroom?
A: No bathrooms available at trailhead parking. Nearby Lake Padden has public restrooms.

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  • natureday

    Not as many roots as you would expect, but lots of extreme ups.

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  • jahato

    Lots of awesome trails with a wide variety of difficulty and trail types. There are a lot of trails and it can be easy to get lost or take a wrong turn but if you have a map or just look at the maps at the mountain then you should be fine.

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  • The Zod

    I love Galbraith, it's a local mountain and changes constantly due to logging. The wimps have abided but it's a hard place to visit with a map and no local knowledge. It put bikes to the test, if you only rode here and wanted to buy an all around mtn bike you'd want a schizophrenic yeti nomad super light with oodles of travel at 25lbs of weight. This place dials you into traveling anywhere and being technically proficient.

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  • hollyanne99

    I feel like I almost need to leave two separate reviews. Being from the midwest, I am used to long loops with rolling hills. This was definitely more sustained climbing followed by downhill descents. Day 1 we parked at the north trailhead with intel on what to ride. It was very clear to us on the map where we were going. However, once on the trails, it was horrible. It felt like every 90 seconds there was a trail crossing, and they were rarely marked. We were constantly having to consult trailforks to see where we were, and if we were still on the route we were told to follow. It got to be a slog and no fun. I just want to ride - I want to turn off my thinking for 90 minutes, and then look where I'm at and figure out how to get back. On this day, we found the Bear trails to be relaxing, as I think we may have ridden 10 minutes straight there. I enjoyed the descent on Oriental Express. I actually looked to see if there was somewhere else to go on Day 2 because we were so put off by the lack of markings. However, we decided to go back and park on the south side. We headed off towards the trailhead and saw a "no trespassing sign" and turned back. However, we saw 4 bikers heading our way and asked where to go. They said to follow them, and, of course, the trailhead was past that sign. Ha. Well, we ended up following them for the next 2 hours as the leader knew his way. I know we climbed up Stick, Brick, Stone, & Kaiser with a detour to go down Happy Hour. I'd recommend that route as it avoided the fireroads and made for an enjoyable ascent. At the end we went up Wonderland to begin our big descent. Evolution was the "big deal" here and we rode it a couple times. I rolled it, as I'm definitely more of a XC rider, but it was still fun and challenging in that regard. I know we also rode Unemployment Line and Cheech & Chong, which were all do-able for someone with intermediate-advanced skills from the midwest. Day 2 was oodles more fun and exactly what we had hoped for. The moral is to ride with someone you know or attach yourself to someone who does. Being armed with a paper map & trailforks still wasn't enough for us.

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  • aachrisman

    I really wanted to love this trail, it's toted as the best trail system in the state. I'm clearly in the minority with this opinion, but as someone who loves long flowing XC trails, I was really disappointed: The trails are a tangled network of short, choppy, gnarly lines that lack sustained flow and make navigation incredibly difficult for those less familiar with the area. Every time I find myself finally getting in the groove with some nice flow, the trail abruptly ends. Galbraith seems like it may be better suited for those who enjoy taking steep fire roads up to screaming downhill trails with ample drops and gaps, or those who like heart-pounding brutal technical climbing and shredding gnar. The trail building seems to rely heavily on the elevation without much attention to the finer details that could lend some fun flow to the network of trails, though I'm sure this is by design. I feel Galbraith just doesn't offer the variety I expected from such a well-renound trail system, and wholeheartedly disagree with the commonly held opinion that there's "something for every rider" on this mountain. I learned to ride in an area of the country with far less elevation, which obviously changes the way trails are built, so my idea flow is quite different from those from this area, and I mean no disrespect to the people who put in the hard work to build and maintain these trails; this just isn't my cup of tea. The mountain is privately owned and gets periodically hacked away by loggers, wiping out the beautiful scenery along some of the more XC-centric trails at this site as well; the trails themselves may not be destroyed, but who really wants to ride around dry dirt and sun bleached tree stumps? The community here really rallies around their mountain biking, and these trails in particular which is beautiful, but I just can't seem to drum up my own enthusiasm for riding Galbraith.

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  • Josh L

    This place is awesome!! It definitely earns the Washington Number 1 spot. So many options here, long XC, Downhill, freeride... it's amazing. You can ride up nice singletrack to get to the top or just pedal up the fire roads. Great job by the local group that maintains this system.

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  • Jskills

    Great trail system with tons to explore! At one shop we were told to start from the south because the north side had too many 5 way stops. Another shop made it sound like no big deal. No big deal if you have it dialed in. We'll be back to for more reps, further exploration and to gain a better appreciation. All in all this place has some gems, great sections, and tons of variety.

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  • newhavennick   ✓ supporter

    Great area for single track,well laid out and marked, trail maps on signs (better to buy a water proof one from local bike shop tho). Area seems very well maintained tonnes to do, should keep most levels of rider happy.

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  • Eddie Benton

    This place is so effing rad! Tons of options for any and all skill levels. I relish my work trips to B-ham for the opportunity to hit up arguably one of the best and easiest accessed trail systems in WA.

    The trail advocacy group here (http://wmbcmtb.org/) is a shining example for all other groups. The work they do to keep this place so fun is ridiculous! Go to their site to purchase a paper map or digital interactive map for your smartphone. Proceeds help support their efforts.

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  • jaderrick

    Galbraith is AMAZING! Lots of trails for every skill level. The north side tends to be a little more forgiving, but bombing down SST is a must for anyone who likes speed, drops, and lots of jumps. The south side can be a little more technical. I've been on almost every trail in the network, and there is always a way around the jumps, drops, or bridges. The skinny on Cedar Dust is a must to conquer. My favorite trail is Atomic Dog, as it flows nicely and finishes with a fast section and bank on a huge boulder. The nice steady climb to the top (south side) on fire roads is around 4 miles, but rewards the rider with some of the best flow in the state. I recommend using MTB Trails on your smart phone or picking up a map (the $$$ goes to a good cause). So close to downtown; we always head to Aslan or Boundary Bay afterwards. Best all around ride experience in my opinion.

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  • joliem28

    Galbraith is awesome mountain biking - whatever you are looking for, it's here! Single track, steep technical, fast and flow, or jumps. Must ride here. It's the best.

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  • jordy68

    Great trails

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  • bernieships

    If you're looking for a trail network in Washington that keeps you wanting to come back for more, look no further. I rode here for the first time today and will definitely be back. The Whatcom Mountain Bike Coalition keeps these trails extremely well-groomed. That's not to say that there aren't technical sections that will keep any level mountain biker occupied. The variety of the terrain allows for XC to Freeride to DH-oriented trails. There are some short steep climbs as well as longer more gradual climbs. Enough fire roads and gravel roads occupy the area that if you don't feel like you can grind up a trail, you can probably find an exit and spin your way up a road. Overall, this is a great place to ride, and has enough variety to keep you occupied for a long time.

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  • gromdog37

    Amazing trail system 5 minutes from downtown Bellingham. I believe there are over 50 miles of singletrack on Galbraith. The climb is not too strenuous, and there are go around a for all the big features. Great place to ride!

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  • David Check

    I ride Galbraith every time I'm in Bham. It's awesome! I can never get enough time there. LOVE IT!

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  • drock30

    Place is a blast! Steep tech sections, jumps, and berms! Killer views too!

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  • *****

    Galbraith has a collection of trails for every ability level, from flowy flat singletrack to windy xc climbs and descents to full on downhill and freeride trails.

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  • *****

    Amazing cross country riding. 40 miles of sweet single track. Easy to find your way around without getting lost. Absolute must ride in NW

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  • *****

    I hope the pending sale of Galby results in better bike trails.

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